The City of Chicago has been taking note of CWS’ growth and move into our new building.
The Chicago Waldorf School was profiled in early December by WBEZ reporter Becky Vevea in On Background: The WBEZ Politics Broadcast. The prior week, Grade School Teacher, Carol Triggiano, was interviewed on Illinois Public Media’s radio show The 21st on a segment about the pros and cons of technology in the classroom. Finally, just in time for the holidays, current CWS family Anne Cousineau, Mark Miller and their children were profiled by the Chicago Tribune about their creatively unique holiday card project.
“Schools are built to be schools”
As part of a week-long segment on Chicago’s schools WBEZ reporter, Becky Vevea, profiled the Chicago Waldorf School in a piece about what has happened to Chicago Public Schools once they’ve been closed. CWS shined
“Four of the 22 sold [CPS] buildings are schools again. Private ones. The historic building on the corner of Ashland and Foster avenues was once known as Trumbull Elementary. For 100 years, it was filled with children nearly every day. But for the last five, it sat vacant. Until this fall, when it reopened as the Chicago Waldorf School.”
Vevea attended opening day of the Andersonville Campus and witnessed our community’s reaction to the ribbon cutting ceremony in the school’s auditorium. Commenting on the excitement of the day, she reported:
“Teachers, parents, and students beamed with pride on the first day of school. While the closings were difficult for all of Chicago, [Administrative Director, Luke] Goodwin said, their school community is honored to bring life back to Trumbull. ‘We always believed that this school should be a school,’ he added.”
The purchase of our new home in Andersonville is an exciting milestone in the history of our school and we look forward to seeing what the next 100 years hold for our community.
“Technology in the classroom”
In November, CWS middle school teacher, Carol Triggiano was interviewed by reporter Niala Boodhoo for Illinois Public Radio. The segment featured a roundtable discussion with Adam Geisen, instructional tech coach and high school English teacher at Triad Community School in Troy, Illinois and Ellen Wartella, professor and chair of Northwestern University’s Department of Communication who directs their Center for Media and Human Development.
In the ensuing discussion Wartella brought up studies that have thrown into question the strategy of implementing “one to one” programs that pair each student from 1st grade up with their own laptop. After critiquing this strategy Boodhoo reflected on how the Waldorf approach was using technology differently. Triggiano replied,
“…We took a long hard look at what is the appropriate time? At what age should we bring these tools to our students in a way that they will be able to master them? We have adopted in 6th, 7th & 8th grade a program called Cyber Civics. This is about providing students with opportunities to talk amongst their peers and with teachers about “How can I be an ethical, responsible citizen online? We simulate a lot of role playing, we give a lot of problem solving, and the kids work together on different projects so that they can begin to understand how you become a master of technology. We have put this emphasis on human to human teaching.”
Wartella shared the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that families “limit screen use to 2 hours per day or less” for young kids and monitor how screens are being used and in what ways students get online as they get older. Waldorf curriculum emphasizes that young children should be thoughtfully introduced to using tech as a tool with scaffolding that is developmentally appropriate, an approach that Wartella praised. Triggiano elaborated on the goals of Waldorf’s relationship-centric curriculum and its relevance to students living in the current digital landscape:
“…We all understand that there can be a tendency for technology to really become isolating; you’ve got your headphones, you’ve got your screen; you are in your own little world. We want to work with students on: How do you learn to work collaboratively with others? How do you learn to look somebody in the eye and say “I’ve got a problem with this” or “Teacher, I don’t understand this?” How does that relationship develop an atmosphere where the kids can learn as much as they possibly can—not just about the subject, but about how to be a human being in the real world.”
The Chicago Waldorf School is proud to be a thought leader in the discussion of technology curriculum. We appreciate that reporters and child development experts are engaging with these core principles of Waldorf education and are asking the relevant questions that concern parents and educators of children in the 21st century.
“CWS Family’s Holiday Card Tradition”
Just as the holiday break approaches, a long-time CWS family is making news for their holiday card tradition. In a profile by the Chicago Tribune, Anne Cousineau, Mark Miller, and their two children were featured for their creative, playful, and prized holiday cards.
For over 20 years Miller and Cousineau have been creating holiday cards in classic photo booths. They have now passed this tradition on to their two children, a current CWS High School student and a CWS alum. The art direction has become a family affair with the kids giving creative input. This has led to themes from Kiss (the rock band) to the Wizard of Oz. Of their tradition the family stated:
“’It’s our family’s history,’ said Cousineau, an artist and home stager. Every year, as December approaches, the couple and their kids — Eli, a sophomore at the Chicago Waldorf School, and Zoe, a freshman at Oberlin College — go to breakfast at a nearby cafe and decide on a theme. ‘We’ve tried to make them tell our story,’ said Miller, an architect.”
We love to see the creativity that our students and families bring to their daily lives being recognized, bringing Waldorf education out into the world!